( The giveaway is now closed – congratulations to Helen)
This month’s, rather belated, Little Chat is with Anna who is also known as Lillalotta, creator of beautiful illustrated cotton tapes and other delights, whilst bringing up five children in a foreign land. Anna has kindly offered 3 metres of her beautiful tape as a giveaway to one lucky reader of this blog. Just have a look at her shop at http://www.lillalotta.etsy.com and leave a comment below saying which tape you would like to win and how you think you might use it.(**Anna’s shop is actually closed at the moment but if you look through her sold items you can see the tapes available**) The winner will be picked by Anna on Sunday, 25th July.
When I opened my first shop on Etsy, back in Spring 2009, I came across Anna’s shop and realised that she was also in France. I contacted her and we realised we were only within a 15 minute drive of eachother. She was a great encouragement to me in those early days and gave me lots of tips and suggestions and, especially considering that she is so busy with her own work and her large family she was, and still is, very generous with her time and advice. I love Anna’s work and it is a pleasure to feature a small part of what she does here.
Tell us a little about your shop. How long have you been open? What do you sell?
I started my little shop on Etsy back in 2007. I created prints and original paintings back then. But as time went by I moved from doing one thing to doing another. Most people who know me, know that I am all over the place, and tend to use lots of different media to still this compulsion to be creative. I had to open another shop 2008, which was left empty for a while, as I sorted my muddled brain. I did lots of handmade items, and by chance started a selection of handmade illustrated cotton tapes, which I needed for some projects myself. I sold my very first cotton tape in March of 2009, and my life has changed totally since then.
Can you describe your shop in three words?
Lillalotta. Handmade. Goodness.
How did you discover Etsy?
Back in 2007 I was mostly into mixmedia, and lots of my friends started opening up Etsy shops. I was a buyer initially, and one day I decided to join in.
Where do you find your inspiration?
I might be a bit of a cliche, but my children inspire me the most. And the world around me. I am lucky to live in a very rural area that seems to be untouched and unspoiled by this era. Less is always more. I enjoy the simplicity.
Can you describe your creative process?
I don’t think I have a creative process. I would be a fibber if I was to make you believe I was this organized being, who had it all in order. ‘Things’ seem to happen. On a whim. When I feel moved. I am totally compulsive though. I ‘must’ do something creative each day, otherwise the day seems to be a waste.
How much time do you spend on your shop each week?
I try to not spend much time online. I fulfill orders, and keep up with my blog. Anything else is too much, sadly. Being a mother of 5 children my entire life is like a race. A rush.
If you could offer one piece of advice to Etsy newbies, what would it be?
Any one can open an Etsy shop. That is the beauty of Etsy. Just be yourself. And it will show in your ‘product’ that you have loved creating it.
Who do you think is your typical customer? Who are you marketing to?
Erm, I have no idea who would be my typical customer. The cotton tapes are so versatile, they can be used for many different things. They can be used on clothing, mix media, quilting, any sewing project…. the sky is the limit I suppose.
Where else can we find your items? Where else can we find you (Twitter, Facebook, blog, etc.)?
For now I am concentrating on my Shop and my Blog. I kind of hang out there the most. http://lillalotta-blog.blogspot.com/
What do you do when you’re not creating or Etsy-ing?
I am always creating. Although not always for Etsy. I have many ‘loves’, including typography, photography, baking, cooking, sewing, quilting, drawing, painting, house decoration…. My biggest problem is that the days are too short, and my to-do-lists are too long 🙂